Vatican: Islam Surpasses Roman Catholicism as World's Largest Religion

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Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday.

"For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Formenti compiles the Vatican's yearbook.

He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population -- a stable percentage -- while Muslims were at 19.2 percent.

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Vince Treacy - 4/9/2008

That's funny. Why do you think that one billion Catholics seem to think it is a religion? The Pew survey recently showed that Catholics in the US have lost a quarter of their adherents, and that one in ten Americans is a former Catholic. That's about thirty million Americans who think they have left the Catholic religion. You are the only one who seems to have a problem talking about the Sunni Islamic religion or the Roman Catholic Christian religion.

Besides, using your approach, some (but not me) could view Christianity, Islam, and Judiaism as three branches of the same Religion of the Book, since all three could be viewed as part of the monotheistic religion that began in the Hebrew Scriptures.

You might have included your definition of the word religion to help us grasp your point. Keep up the good Quixotic work.

Tim R. Furnish - 4/3/2008

"Catholicism" is NOT a "religion"--it is the largest branch of the CHRISTIAN religion, which has other other huge branches (Orthodoxy and Protestantism, the latter of which has literally thousands of denominations and the former of which has dozens of state churches). It would be as if we referred to "Sunnism" or "Vajrayanism"
[Buddhism]" each as religions. Silly, imprecise, and both historically and doctrinally inaccurate. Christianity has 2.3 BILLION adherents, and while Catholicism is the largest branch thereof it is NOT a separate religion in and of itself.